Monday, November 4, 2013

What I’ll Miss. What I’ll Forget.

            I think I already covered my bases previously about my long absences on here.  I took on quite a bit this last term, from Christmas knitting projects to Christmas art pieces to the most significant photography project I’ve ever been a part of (and, incidentally, created).  All of that combined with my efforts to plan our departure (which includes selling most of our possessions in Grenada) and our arrival (getting our hands on a car as soon as we get back to the States has been the biggest headache so far) means that I’ve been stuck at home most days.  Of course I’d like to get out more and swim in the sea and volunteer and just hang out with friends, but those social and recreational urges are being smothered pathetically by my manic need to prepare for life back home.  I keep looking at our return as the jarring moment when my life gets real again.  And I can’t help but think to myself, “Oh [expletive]!  What have I accomplished in the past two years?!”

            So that’s been the goal this term—apply myself to building whatever marketable skills I have that are going to help us through these next few years as we continue to move to … wherever.  Since self-employment is the most obvious decision for me for a family that can guarantee no permanent address, I think I made the right decision in what skills to hone.

            At least I can say that we are getting out at least four times a week for a nice run around the neighborhood.  And we’re actually getting better with that also!  Once a week, we run an extended loop around a cute neighborhood nearby.  It’s a perfect 7+ mile run through fairly quiet streets lined with trees and flowers.  It’s also a pretty strenuous route since it includes a few ridiculous hills.  I’m convinced that there is no limit on a hill’s grade in Grenada.  And running up Campeche hill, I’ve sworn to myself a few times that it must be some insane grade that’s simply not legal in the States.  But, still, in the past three weeks, Ivan and I have shaved 5 minutes off of that run.  Just one week after Ivan said he didn’t think we’d break a certain time, we broke it!  I have to admit, it was a pretty great feeling.  Unfortunately I don’t think the same thing will happen with our shorter runs.  As it turns out, I’m awful at running short distances and can barely keep up with Ivan.  But after about the fifth mile, I could run forever!

Monday, September 30, 2013

My Parents Finally Visited (Part Two)

…continued from the previous post


Split Three: A Couple More Tours


            The Sunday after the hash, Ivan and I took the day off while Mom and Dad went on a kayak tour around Woburn Bay and Hog Island (around the southern edge of the island).  They had a blast and really enjoyed working with the tour guides.

            That evening, we had our “fancy dinner” at the University Club in L’Ance aux Epines (pronounced lance-uh-peen, by the way).  We arrived at the club a little early and walked along the small beach at Prickly Bay, behind the UC.  The sun had already set (6:30pm sunsets here), but we still got a few pictures on the dock.

            Dinner was excellent, even if the service was a little slow (hello, Grenada).  We tried the catch of the day and split desserts.  And we each got to sample a breaded swordfish with papaya chutney.  Very tasty!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Parents Finally Visited! (Part One)

            Once again, it’s been far too long since I’ve last blogged.  I have a halfway decent excuse, though.  My parents came to visit!  Also, I’ve been pretty sick for the past couple of weeks (even during their visit, yes) and am having very little luck shaking the bug (or whatever it is).

            But that’s not really important or relevant to this post.


            Split One: My parents first couple days


            Mom and Dad flew in on Wednesday evening, September 4th.  Ivan and I met them at the airport and took a taxi to their resort, The Grenada Grand (über swanky!), before taking an evening stroll down to “Wall Street” (a strip of financial institutions and other businesses), which is appropriately referred to as “Street Meat” when night vendors take over the strip and sell meats and drinks.  We had some drinks and got my parents some food.  Mom had grilled tuna and Dad got barbequed pigtails.  Sounds gross, right?  Surprisingly delicious!

            On Thursday we had a pretty relaxing time touring around the campus and swimming in the crystal waters just outside of their resort.  We had breakfast at Le Papillion (a French breakfast restaurant) and my parents got their first real taste of Caribbean heat and humidity.

Friday, August 23, 2013

This is the Final Stretch

            We are back, and so am I.  That is, we’re back in Grenada.  And I am back on my blog (figuratively speaking of course, since the Internet isn’t really a physical location, I couldn’t literally have left), with all of my cynicism intact.

            After thirty-seven days in the States, we returned to our petite island on the ninth of August.  Since then, we’ve been very slowly unpacking and settling back into the swing of things.  Ivan’s classes started the Tuesday following our arrival, giving us a few days to spend with friends before locking back in to the grind.

            We started our few lazy days with a trip north to find some of the hot springs with a couple friends.  At the northern edge of the parish of St. Andrew, near Mt. St. Catherine, we found a narrow road that (according to the locals’ directions) would lead to the hot springs.  Everyone we spoke with, though, warned our taxi driver that his car wouldn’t get us far.  When the narrow road turned to one lane, we idled for a few minutes to allow oncoming traffic to pass.  One Hummer stopped and our driver verified with the passenger that we were on the right road for the hot springs.  She affirmed, but warned us, “You won’t get far in this car.”

            True enough, we barely made it another quarter-mile before Bertrand had to pull his taxi to the side and park.  We headed out on foot to find the springs that were just off the road and easy to spot—or so we had been told.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Countdown Time

            I deserve an award at this point.  I’m thinking maybe it could be a cone with a crown-sized diameter?  Maybe big black letters could spell DUNCE vertically up its seam?  And I can wear my award while I sit on a too-short stool in the corner.  And maybe I can snivel a little.
            I am a thoroughly horrible blogger.  Or at least I have been this term.  I look back at my blog and shake my head woefully.  I am just the worst, especially for those family members who are not linked in to networking sites like Facebook.  At least I answer messages on Facebook.  At least I let my family and friends back home know that I am still existing somewhere tropical and occasionally partaking in ridiculously fun activities.  For anyone whose news of me and Ivan is strictly limited to this blog, I hope you’ll forgive me and have, during my intermittent absence, learned of our wellbeing through word-of-mouth.  Now enough of this; I am the blog dunce and it’s time to move on.

            I see that my last post was from the beginning of May.  So I’ll try to take up from there.  First, second and fifth term medical and all vet students had their finals around the middle of May.  (Keep in mind that third and fourth terms are paired together since third term is only about a month and a half long.)  So it was about that time that we said goodbye to a lot of people, some of which we won’t be seeing again for a long time and some we won’t be seeing again ever.  This, of course, is when I become most grateful for the limitless applications of the Internet and its promise that distant friends will be more than just memories.
            While other students were knocking out their finals, Ivan and his fellow fourth term students were taking their second pathology midterm, CPD midterm and microbiology final.  After the pathology midterm, Ivan came home uncharacteristically dejected and, after a quick walk around campus, we found he was hardly alone in his disappointment.  Medical school is a far cry from the undergraduate experience.  It is considerably more taxing, physically, emotionally and monetarily (there’s no point in leaving out the cost—it adds to the stress and expectations these students already manage).  So it’s not really all that uncommon to see students cracking under the pressure—even just a little.  When we walked past the throngs of fourth termers exiting the path exam, I could barely hear a breath being taken in between the cursing.
            Needless to say, we were pleased when the grades were released and Ivan did better than expected.
            He has since completed his nutrition class and is now just taking pathology and CPD.  He spends roughly twelve to thirteen hours a day on those two classes and still runs the risk of falling behind.

This moth has nothing to do with exams, but how cute!